Our son Anteneh’s life paints such a beautiful picture of the gospel. When we first met him in Ethiopia, he was three years old. He had open wounds on his head and arms and scars on his cheeks. He had blood and pus oozing from his ear, a round belly from intestinal parasites, and a smile on his face.
He was the life of the party, in an outdoor room that had rusty, ripped, sharp jagged tin walls and kids running everywhere. We brought this bony, big bellied little guy back to our guest house as our adopted son. We took off the smelly, dirty clothes.
He was scared because these strangers were asking him to sit in a washbasin, naked. This must have been something he had never done, we realized, because he preferred to stand in a bucket and splash himself to wash.
We had a sweet Ethiopian girl translate for us so he wouldn’t be so scared. After his bath, we clipped his nails, cut his hair, lotioned him up, and put him in new clothes. We started him on good vitamins, antibiotics, and healthy food. We immediately were “Emaye and Abat” (Mommy and Daddy in his language of Amharic).
A few short years later, when we fostered a six-month-old little baby girl, we watched six-year-old Anteneh carefully bathe that little baby, lotion her up, dress her in new clothes, comfort her, and give her a bottle. What a picture of the Christian life. Our son was lifted up… and in turn learned to lift up another vulnerable child.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God… Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you have planned for us.” Psalm 40:1-3,l
Photo obtained from Flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.